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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Round Senses New Belief

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Everton showed this season they are more of match for the top Premier League sides than ever before.
 
That's the opinion of assistant boss Steve Round, who says the Blues now have the ability to not only frustrate their rivals in the race for Europe - but play them at their own game.
 
In finishing sixth in the Premier League table, the Toffees took four points off both Manchester City and Tottenham, beat Manchester United and remained unbeaten in two games against Arsenal.
 
Throw in two draws against Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Round sees reason to be optimistic of further success in the campaigns ahead.
 
"I think the team's confidence and ability to play at that level has shown through in those results," he told evertontv. "It's a very good record and it does show the direction that the club is going in, that the team is going in.
 
"We feel a lot more confident now and when we go on to the pitch against those teams, I think the players feel they're more on a level.
 
"I think over the last two to three years that belief has steadily come through at Everton.
 
"It's not necessarily a case of defending for your lives, hanging in there and nicking the odd result by fortune and great defending, we're actually going in there and taking the game to the opposition and playing as well as the opposition are playing against us.
 
"It's great for the team moving forward into next season that they know they can play at that level."

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